I was expecting a lot from this book, I was however a little bit disappointed. I just didn't connect with this book or with Valeria whose voice the story is told by.
The book is about a school shooting and the effect it has on the students and community who have to cope with life afterwards. I was expecting a hard hitting, heartbreaking book, with it being about such a difficult and upsetting subject. The actual event was described quite matter of fact and was upsetting, so that provoked some emotion in me but the rest of the story about Valerie coping with the aftermath just didn't appeal to me. I found her character lacking emotion and I found her quite unlikable.
What I didn't Like:
I found the characters very unlikable and hard to relate too, Valerie’s parents in particular.
There was no depth to the characters, I felt like they were just names and not people, and I think a book should make you want to know more about these characters and feel like you know everything about them.
I thought the aftermath of the shooting was very unrealistic and people’s reactions a little unrealistic.
Valerie’s character is difficult to figure out and I still don’t know what to make of her. Is she a naive girl who fell in love with the wrong guy and would do anything to prove herself to him? Is she the brave hero who saved her enemies life and the life of many others? I really don’t know!
What I did Like:
Jennifer Brown was very brave and blunt in her writing of the actual shooting and it brought out some emotion in me.
How the story told you about each victim and how they were honored at the end of the book.
That it was very honest, it isn't all rainbows and butterflies and everyone doesn't just get along after something so horrific.
I know a lot of people love this book and found it to be life changing but in all I found this book rather uncomfortable to read and I can't help but feel disappointed in it. I just couldn't relate to the book or Valerie, however I couldn't put it down and had to see it through to the end. I didn't hate this book, but I didn't love it and won't be buying a physical copy to add to my shelves.